What do we do when life becomes volatile and the future feels uncertain? For many in the world right now, these are times of terror.

For the most part, my generation has been blessed with stability and security. However, there have been serious episodes when the peaceful illusion that “all is well in the world” has been shattered.

The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and the ongoing Cold War affected us kids, all across America. At the time, my family was living in Princeton, New Jersey. My third-grade class at St. Joseph’s Girls School practiced regular drills in the event of an atomic bomb being dropped on us. Somehow they thought that ducking under our little, wood-topped desks would help us survive!

There were the years of the Vietnam war. I remember seeing the news on television, night after night, with images of our American soldiers coming home in body bags. Then, in 2001 everything came to a standstill in America with the September 11 attacks.

We are still dealing with the isolation and upheaval brought on by the Corona virus, frustrated and angered by government mandates that have stepped on freedoms we’ve taken for granted. But now, for the first time in my lifetime, a full-scale war in Europe has the entire world on edge.

What do we do?

How do we navigate our own emotions and help our kids and grandkids process the fears of what may come? The words of 1 Peter 5:8-9 speak to us, growing louder with every passing day.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

It is hard to watch the images on our TV screens and social media feeds. We’ve been flooded with videos of the chaos. Our U.S. Christian community needs to be aware of how seriously big this could become—but how much of this watching is healthy? At what point do we move from being fully aware and prayerful, to saturating our minds with news talk for hours on end? Worrying is not a healthy spiritual exercise. We mustn’t let the news commentary dominate our thoughts and replace sober-minded thinking.

Earthly security is an illusion.

As believers we know this. We need to remind ourselves and each other how to live with hope, come what may.

Recently, as I read Psalm 46:1-7, I was struck by the writer’s mature balance between reality and hope. He give us this picture of a believer who sees reality for what it is. Until recent times, no one imagined the world being destroyed by itself, but today our films are filled with ways it could happen.

Psalm 46 tells us that even if earthquakes and tidal waves should dissolve cities and civilizations, God’s rule is unshaken. Even in times of upheaval and calamity, we must not despair but remind ourselves that God is, Himself, a stronghold and “city” where we can dwell in safety.

If we position our hearts in Him, we shall not be moved. Psalm 46 doesn’t say that God will help if we get ourselves to a refuge—He Himself is that refuge.

If we have this God as our God, we can face such cataclysms, and even death without fear.


God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,

though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 

though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah*


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High. 

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns. 

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts. 

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

– Psalm 46


*Selah means pause and think about it.

I have also found myself meditating and praying through these verses as well:


Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me;

fight against those who fight against me. 

Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. 

Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me.

Say to me, “I am your salvation.” 

May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame;

may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. 

May they be like chaff before the wind,

with the angel of the LORD driving them away; 

may their path be dark and slippery,

with the angel of the LORD pursuing them. 

Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, 

may ruin overtake them by surprise—may the net they hid entangle them,

may they fall into the pit, to their ruin. 

Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation. 

My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, LORD? 

You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,

the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

– Psalm 35:1-10 (NIV)